Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cute kid

I say it all the time and I know it's mom pride but I have the cutest kid. With the weather still so nice we played outside a lot this weekend.  She peeks through the fence into the neighbors yard!  It's awful but it's also cute.

About a year ago I purchased headbands with little flower clips for her. She's never worn them though I wear the flowers.  The headbands are a little tight on her head now but she puts them on for 2 minutes or so.  She still doesn't have enough hair for a headband!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lovely holiday and pet peeves

We had a lovely Thanksgiving. Good food (uh huh I am a good cook!) and company. Cassidy was (as always) totally adorable!  Even with just a small group, we had 4 generations of family. Of course we took a picture.
Which brings me to my first pet peeve.  The last time I'd used my camera we'd been outside at a playground so it was set for action.  Which you need a lot of light for. It doesn't happen often but it happened on Thanksgiving - I forgot to switch it for indoor pictures, so every picture we took is dark :-(

For my second pet peeve...  mail. I've been noticing for awhile now that I seem to get coupons in the mail close to when they expire.  Yesterday, Black Friday, at 4pm when my mail arrived I got a coupon from the Old Navy that was good for the 3 days leading up to Black Friday?  Coupons from Stop-n-Shop good for the week before?  It's frustrating enough getting your mail and it's 1 or 2 relevant things and the rest all junk mail but if you're going to send coupons at least send them before they expire!

Not that I'm doing any shopping this weekend since Bill went to CT for the weekend and I am home alone.  Shopping alone with Cassidy is not fun at all. The grocery store will be the only store I see this weekend!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


In past years that I hosted Thanksgiving, I found it stressful. Writing lists of what to buy, when to do what, cleaning, cooking etc. Racing around like a nut. Everything had to be perfect. 


I hate that word. Nothing is ever perfect and aiming for perfection just causes stress. I'm sure I'll forget to put the rolls in the oven to warm them up or forget to cook the vegetables (it's happened!). But this year, I don't care. I'm not stressed.  As someone said to me just yesterday "everything works out whether you stress about it or not". We will have a lovely Thanksgiving tomorrow with great food and good company. I can't wait for a nice relaxing day.

Last weekend we went to the playground since the weather was so nice. I am loving the weather we've been having and I wish it would last all winter. It's nice to be outdoors comfortably in November.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

No doctors appointments for 15 days!

I have no doctors appointments for 15 whole days. My life suddenly seems uneventful.  I suspect in early 2012 those 15 days will stretch to months. That will be pretty nice!

My first entire week back to work is over! I'm caught up but again, a bit of a lame duck as I will be out again on medical leave in twelve more working days. Not that I'm counting. Work did prove to me that though I feel different and think I look different, I don't.  Which Bill has been telling me all along but why would I believe him? 

Yesterday a friend brought Cassidy a much belated birthday gift. A pink rocking horse (oh yeah, we have a pony!). He's pink but we know he's a boy because his voice is male. She loves it. I wasn't sure she would. When I showed her that his mouth moves when he sings the look on her face was priceless. She might just think he's real now.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Back to my normal (crazy) life

Nice weekend of nothing special, shopping, cooking, raking leaves and a family dinner out.  I went for my first run in 6 weeks. I am out of shape! J  My hair has grown long enough that I need a tiny ponytail with a lot of barrettes! Cassidy noticed it and was fascinated by it.

Cassidy likes to pull her little seat up to our coffee table to enjoy snacks. She started putting her legs up to get comfortable.  So cute!

I have two weeks off with no doctors appointments!  I feel like I have plenty to do though with my next surgery in only four weeks. I really need to get Christmas shopping and holiday things done. I attempted this past weekend to get a holiday card photo but someone was tired and grumpy and wouldn’t smile. I’m definitely missing the free time I had now that I’m back to work. I'm also missing sleeping until 6:30am so... maybe I'm the one who's tired and grumpy :-)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Back to work

It was a hectic week.  I wish I had a massage or something relaxing planned for this weekend because I need it. oh wait, I can't get a massage because I can't lay on my stomach. insert big pathetic sigh :-(

Wednesday I had two doctors appointments that went fine. Got the all clear from the breast surgeon and I never need to see her again. Another 80 cc's in my expander's from the plastic surgeon and I won't need any more fills.  Bill surprised me by taking that afternoon off and we went out for lunch in Boston. It was a beautiful sunny day so that was nice.

Thursday I went back to work. I figured I could handle it for one day. Get through my email and catch up a little.  I hadn't told many people why I was going to be out. I had decided that if I needed chemo and lost my hair everyone would find out but since I didn't know when I left what would happen on that score I didn't broadcast why I would be out of the office. Lots of people asked me if I was okay.  I, of course, responded with an "I'm great!". No one asked me why I'd been out and I didn't volunteer any information.

This morning I went to have my birth control implant removed. My arm is still a little numb but I have a feeling it's going to hurt all weekend. The doctor said the bruising would be similar to having it put in and it was pretty awful then. 

I'm really sad today. In the past few months my life has changed a lot. I realize today is just one more thing on top of more serious things that happened last month but it's like the straw that broke the camels back. Which is not good since I have plenty of more stuff coming up. It's too early for this to be the straw.  It seems so minor. So what, we use other birth control. But it changes things. I'm going to get my period for the first time since 2009. That sounds pretty awful to me. Bill has an appointment next month for a vasectomy which is one more thing to do in December. So much has changed so fast there hasn't been time to process it. If I honestly answered my coworkers question about how I am...  I'm not great.  I'm just okay.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Friday we met with my new Oncologist at Faulkner Hospital. He spent 45 minutes with us and I felt like we had his full attention that entire time. I felt like he tried to get to know me, not just my diagnosis. He is also very nice and came across as very intelligent.

First he asked me lots of questions. Then he examined me which I found… uncomfortable.  I’m not used to the new me and its different showing the breast surgeon or the plastic surgeon. My face was bright red and he commented on it – asking Bill if my complexion is normally like that! Ugh. I said I was hot. I’m pretty sure I fooled no one. Then I got to get dressed (Thank god) and he reviewed my final pathology report of the tissue they removed in detail.

7.3 cm by 3.6 cm of DCIS was found in my tissue (same as my biopsy). That’s a big area.

0.02cm of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) was found in the midst of all the DCIS.  Estrogen receptor positive (though not as receptive as the DCIS), Progestin receptor negative and HER positive (this is bad and indicates an aggressive cancer).  This was the bad cancer that can kill you. It was classified as Stage 2.

Lymph nodes were all negative for any cancerous cells.  Surprising to Bill and I was the news that they ended up removing 5 nodes!  2 of the Sentinel nodes (that fed off my breast – these were the ones we wanted to get) and 3 more that were in the path to get to the sentinel nodes so kind of removed for no reason.  It’s important for me to know this because the more nodes removed, the greater my chance of getting Lymphadema in my right arm. I’m hoping I never get that!

But the IDC was the thing to worry about and the Oncologist was very happy that it was only 0.02cm. If it had been 0.04cm’s I would have been put on a short round of Chemotherapy but at 0.02cm he felt that the risks of Chemo are not worth it for such a tiny amount of cancer that has already been cut out.  He said my lifetime risk of recurrence is around 4%.

Our plan to reduce that 4% risk to 1% (or less) is:  I am having my birth control implant removed from my arm and beginning January 1, 2012 I will start taking Tamoxifen.  Tamoxifen is a drug that inhibits the amount of estrogen my body will produce. I would expect to be on it for five years. It is pretty standard for any pre-menopausal women with breast cancer.  The side effects are hot-flashes!  Based on my medical history my oncologist is hopeful that I won’t experience bad side effects. I’m thinking positive that I’ll tolerate this medicine well.  Tamoxifen also has some benefits, one of which is stronger bones. The other is lower cholesterol but I already have low cholesterol.

I feel, so lucky. So lucky that I caught this before that .02 grew to a .04! I am a happy, lucky, healthy chick!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Trick or Treating

Last night was our delayed Trick or Treat night after the power outtages.  Cassidy wore her duck costume and loved helping us hand out candy. She ran to the door everytime the bell rang and then waved bye to the kids as they left (ok, after they were out of sight but she tries).  It was a fun night!

Shabby Shoppe Goosebumps digital package

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What a difference a week makes

I feel really good this week. Not taking Advil except the PM kind to get to sleep (which my stomach is grateful for). It's amazing the difference a week made. I have my oncologist appointment tomorrow, breast surgeon and plastic surgeon next week and then I plan to go back to work next Thursday. Which I'm kind of looking forward too.

Many folks in the area still don't have power (my sister, most of our friends and family in CT). I'm still happy we never lost ours this go around and I hope the power companies get everything fixed tonight as it's going to be a chillier few days here.  But today was a warm 60 degrees. My mom and I took Cassidy to the playground and out to lunch.  After her afternoon nap Cassidy tried on Grammi's sneakers

Yelled "HI" to our house guest Moe

and had a lovely snack of ants on a log (celery, cream cheese & raisins - surprisingly good!)

But most importantly, okay its early but I'm a rule breaker, I can do this again

And carrying her isn't too awful. Actually, buckling her into her car seat is harder (pushing those clips together is SO Hard for me but I can pick up 25 lbs? the body is a mysterious thing...)!  I'm not over doing it, but it's nice to be able to pick her up again.